Open the Cave

Sunday was a bright and sunny day. I walked into my home in the middle of it and, the closer I got to the living room, the more I realized that it was time to take down the insulating curtains I used this past winter.

You see, insulating curtains are (usually) also room darkening curtains. So, in the middle of one of the most beautiful days of the summer, I could barely see the furniture.

The crafter in me wants to make new curtains. Something light and airy. Probably white with some embellishment. My "summer curtains" - as I've begun to call them - are firmly visualized in my mind.

As the self-proclaimed Queen of Sewing Squares, curtains fall right into my purview. Unfortunately, ease of creation isn't what's stopping me. It's the cost.

We are are all painfully aware how much cheaper it is to buy a knitted sweater than to make one. But we knit away because we can customize our knits six ways to Sunday. The problem with sewing a square is that, the only thing to customize is the fabric choice. And the fabric is the expensive part.

On a recent trip to Joann Fabrics with Cassandra, I found this:

As much as I want this for my windows, at $50 a yard (currently on sale for $30 a yard) there's no way I can afford to make these.

So, I went and looked at cheaper fabric. I found this:

Awesome at only $15 a yard (currently on sale for $9 a yard.) But it's discontinued and I don't think there's enough on the bolt.

I went home and measured. If I use a 54" wide fabric, I'll need ten yards to cover two windows. Which means that, even at $9 a yard, I'm spending nearly $100 in fabric.

Here's what I can get if I want to buy "off the rack" -

For $120 (plus tax and shipping) I can have these ready-made sheers from Pottery Barn

No sewing necessary
Or, for the same price, these from Ikea

Or, for a mere $30 (plus tax and shipping) - also from Ikea
When it's all said and done, sometimes it doesn't pay to craft something yourself - even if it means you get to have something custom and to your specifications. When the sun is shining, I'm not sure it's worth sacrificing garden time to run up curtains - especially given the cost.

Oh, the dilemma.

- Alex


  1. I had a similar thing - I wanted new cushion covers... And so I bought fabric and a sewing machine! Of course, it would have been far cheaper to buy them, but I just couldn't find what I wanted ;)

  2. I've done this same exact thing with curtains. Off the rack wins, hands down.

  3. @pinkundine - I'm guilty of having done the same on many project but, I suppose, with curtains there's some line I can't cross regarding cost.

    @mutantsupermodel - I ended up with some discontinued Waverly sheers that I bought at Burlington Coat Factory. Total, with tax - less than $30. They're not perfect but they do what I need them to. :)